Sunday, February 25, 2007

I'd like to thank the Academy and laugh at them too

Finally, Ennio Morricone received an overdue recognition in the form of an Oscar. It was refreshing to see Clint Eastwood, who starred in at least four movies scored by Morricone, present this honor to such a talented individual and subtly jab the Academy in their "wisdom" in bestowing the lifetime achievement Oscar to Morricone.

What I enjoyed most was seeing Morricone's acceptance speech. I know that most have probably heard what happened, but it was funny to watch Morricone speak Italian instead of English. I wonder if anyone checked if he spoke English? I am not criticizing the man who scored The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, the Untouchables, and over 400 other movies for not speaking English. In fact, I think it was healthy.

This year's Oscars boasted of its "international flavor," yet the camera's pan of the crowd showed nothing but smugness and frustration when Morricone spoke his native tongue. I commented to my wife and friends that I highly doubt most in that room could speak Italian or French if they went to those respective countries to accept an award.

The fact that a ready translation was not available for Clint Eastwood to read. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the audience seemed surprised, or dare I say annoyed, at Morricone's speaking in Italian demonstrated to me that people can talk a lot about having an "international flavor," but when push comes to shove, sometimes talk is simply talk. I got the distinct impression international speaking was not welcome.

This leads me to question much of the smug ideas and attitudes which come from Hollywood. I do not necesarrily refer to political issues, but ideas and causes in general. Often we have these things delivered to us by actors who claim a moral superiority, but do not have the actions to back up the speech. Think of all the preaching we get on global warming and conservation by people who fly private jets, ride in limos, and live in 10,000 square foot houses. Think about all the money we are asked to donate for disease research, social issues and so on by people who give a less percentage of their income than the average middle class person. Think of the times we are called to help the poor by people who wear $20,000 dresses, show off $1 million diamonds and go to parties with $200 truffles at a $20 million house.

Now think of Ennio Morricone. He came to accept an award. He spoke in his native language, and people who tell us to be more accepting of others, give him a poor reception and dirty looks. I think an appropriate response would have been to graciously sit there and show that the Academy is truly committed to an "international flavor."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Acts 17 Rules!

There is so much going on in that chapter that it blows my mind!

In Thessalonica you have people coming to Christ despite being hard-headed, their race, class, gender and you see that the Gospel threatens prevailing social structures of the day. Jesus vs. Caesar, why are all these rich people believing this crazy Jew Paul and so on.

In Berea you have people who are "more noble" since they "searched Scripture" (they were not Christian at the time) to see if Paul's claims were true. They come to Christ...social and political stuff is threatened again and so on.

I could go on, but I will not.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Who is man?

What short memories we have. In the 1970s, the trend was to warn the world about global cooling. Now, if you watch the news, you hear a story nearly everyday about the dangers of global warming. As I sit in my apartment, noticing a windchill of -2F, I wonder if God laughs at mankind sometimes, when we think we have his Creation figured out to an exact science.

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